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The Guardian

Latest news, sport, business, comment, analysis and reviews from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice

'I just want to go home': German teenager who joined Isis speaks of regrets – reports

Linda Wenzel, 16, who is being held in an Iraqi prison after joining the jihadist group, says she wants to get away from the war

A German teenager who joined Islamic State is now being held in detention in Iraq and says she regrets joining the jihadist group and just wants to come home to her family, media reported.

Der Spiegel magazine reported that four German women who joined Isis in recent years, including a 16-year-old girl from the small town of Pulsnitz near Dresden, were being held in an Iraqi prison and receiving consular assistance.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 1:55 pm

Feline sad: cat who was 'mayor' of Alaskan town for 20 years dies

Stubbs, who liked to drink water and catnip from a margarita glass, was elected mayor of Talkeetna in 1998

Stubbs, the honorary feline mayor of the Alaska town of Talkeetna, has died at the age of 20.

The animal’s owners announced the cat’s death late on Saturday in a statement.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 12:48 pm

The wrath of Donald Trump

Donald Trump is not known for the consistency of his views, and his colleagues and allies have fallen victim to his caprices, too

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 11:57 am

Manchester United beat Real Madrid after farcical penalty shoot-out

Despite Julia Roberts, an Oscar-winning member of Hollywood royalty, “measuring her excitement” beforehand, there was an under-capacity turnout for this International Champions Cup encounter in Santa Clara, three years after Manchester United and Real Madrid drew 109,318 to Michigan Stadium for a pre-season friendly.

Levi’s Stadium appeared noticeably under its 68,500 capacity on Sunday, despite the official attendance being given as 65,109. Given Real’s, and to a lesser extent United’s, appeal to California’s large Latino population, there may be questions about why this was not sold-out. That 2014 match in Michigan involved Cristiano Ronaldo who, despite only entering towards the end of the match, was still a draw for US football fans. The forward is not here this time, instead he is in China doing promotional work for Real.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 11:43 am

Heavy drinking will kill 63,000 people over next five years, doctors warn

Doctors urge government to introduce minimum unit pricing for alcohol as research reveals extent of liver disease

Almost 63,000 people in England will die over the next five years from liver problems linked to heavy drinking unless ministers tackle the scourge of cheap alcohol, doctors are warning.

Senior members of the medical profession and health charities are urging the government to bring in minimum unit pricing of alcohol and a crackdown on drink advertising to avert what they claim is the “public health crisis” of liver disease deaths.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 11:01 am

Personal photos from Princess Diana's collection published

Nearly 20 years on from their mother’s death, William and Harry have spoken about their grief and childhood memories

Dressed as policemen, with toy helmets and walkie-talkies, or onboard the royal yacht, Britannia, these photographs of Prince William and Prince Harry are from the personal album belonging to their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, published for the first time to mark a documentary on her life to be broadcast on Monday.

The now Duke of Cambridge and Harry have opened up publicly to speak candidly about their grief, their loss, and coping without their mother, who died after a car crash in Paris on 31 August 1997.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 11:01 am

State pension changes will cost 7 million people £10,000 each

Analysis shows each person affected may lose £9,800 after government announces raising pension age earlier than planned

More than 7 million people will lose just under £10,000 each because of new government plans to increase the state pension age earlier than planned.

Last week the government announced it would raise the state pension age to 68 for those now in their late 30s and early 40s. The change will affect Britons born between 1970 and 1978, who will now have to wait another year to receive their state pensions, a move which the government found would save £74bn.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 11:01 am

Business secretary to announce investment in battery technology

Greg Clark to flesh out industrial strategy by setting out plans to increase productivity, including research projects

A £246m investment in developing battery technology in Britain is to be launched by the government as part of its drive towards what it says is a modern industrial strategy.

The business and energy secretary, Greg Clark, will announce the funding, including a £45m competition to make batteries more accessible and affordable, in a speech on Monday that should spell out further the government’s plans to increase productivity and growth.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 11:01 am

O2 renews sponsorship of Academy music venues in £70m deal

Mobile operator retains naming rights to venues in 13 cities for next 10 years in deal with owners Live Nation and AMG

O2 has renewed its sponsorship of music venues across Britain, including the Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Brixton Academy and Manchester Apollo, in a deal thought to be worth about £70m over the next decade.

The agreement sees the mobile phone operator retain the O2 Academy naming rights to the music venues in 13 cities including Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, Liverpool, Newcastle upon Tyne, Oxford, Sheffield and Leeds.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 11:01 am

The Handmaid’s Tale recap: episode eight – this is not a drill

Another harrowingly great week, full of emergency stop moments and exhilarating breakouts. The regime gets uglier by the minute – but Offred’s fight will not die

Spoiler alert: this recap is for people watching The Handmaid’s Tale on Channel 4 in the UK. Please do not add spoilers from later episodes.

It’s back to the cold hard light of another day in Gilead as the red of the handmaid’s cloaks cuts through the chilly blue morning. They are lining the path ready for one-eyed, batshit Janine to leave the Putnam house, her breeding duties for them over. The obviously unstable young woman is going straight to another commander’s house to start the whole process again as Ofdaniel. Offred can see what’s going to happen, even if Aunt Lydia’s in denial.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 10:05 am

'I haven't really tried': Bernard Tomic amazed he's done well at tennis

Australian player says he was offered ‘insane money’ to play for other countries and that he feels trapped by the sport

Bernard Tomic remains amazed that he has done so well at tennis given that he hadn’t “really tried” and says he was offered millions of dollars to play tennis for other countries.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Seven’s Sunday Night program, the troubled star was unapologetic for the way he played tennis and lived his life.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 9:47 am

Two killed in shooting near Israeli embassy in Jordan

Israeli man injured in Amman days after anti-Israeli protests in the Jordanian capital

Two Jordanians were killed and an Israeli wounded in a shooting incident on Sunday in a building inside the Israeli embassy complex in Jordan’s capital Amman, police said.

The two Jordanians, working for a furniture firm, had entered the embassy compound before the shooting, the police said, adding that the dead man was killed by a gunshot and the two wounded men had been rushed to hospital. Israel made no public comment.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 9:35 am

Doctor Who Christmas special details revealed

Peter Capaldi’s final appearance will see return of Bill Potts and feature cameo role by Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss

Tantalising details of the Doctor Who Christmas special have emerged to further tease fans still absorbing news that the 13th Doctor is to be a woman.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 9:30 am

'Human-trafficking' tragedy: nine die in sweltering Texas truck

At least nine people died after being crammed into a sweltering tractor-trailer found parked outside a Walmart in the midsummer Texas heat, authorities said on Sunday as they described an immigrant-smuggling attempt gone wrong.

The driver was arrested and nearly 20 others rescued from the rig were hospitalized in dire condition, many with extreme dehydration and heatstroke, officials said.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 9:28 am

England beat India in a thrilling Women's World Cup final - a photo essay

Photographer Tom Jenkins had exclusive access around Lord’s to capture all the action and atmosphere of a dramatic Women’s World Cup cricket final

This was one of the great Lord’s finals and there was a buzz around St John’s Wood before a ball was bowled. On the Wellington Road the ticket touts were out in force and they seemed more eager to buy than sell. Not even Rachel Heyhoe Flint, one of the world’s great optimists and the captain of England in the first World Cup final in 1973 – they were two years ahead of the men – would have dared to envisage this.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 9:11 am

Poldark recap: series three, episode seven – Ross should negotiate Brexit

Raise high your silver punch cups to Captain Ross, the noblest man in all of Cornwall. What a shame our hero looks set to lose everything

Oh Lord – Aunt Agatha is dead. Sent to hell in a handcart by Evil George. But not before she reminded him that the rickety baby had been born under the black moon because someone else got there before ‘e. Run away, Elizabeth, and take the lame child with you. You aren’t safe with Evil George.

It’s all cranking up now for the finale in a fortnight’s time as politics came to Nampara and Demelza and Ross fell out over Ross’s lack of ambition. “What do you want? A man who will lie down, roll over, sit up and beg for you? Well, if so, you’ve married the wrong man. Perhaps you should look elsewhere for a pet.” Well that degenerated quickly.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 9:00 am

QC makes fresh appeal for victims of sexual abuse in football to come forward

• Inquiry head Clive Sheldon says testimony can be given anonymously
• ’We have reached a crucial stage, hearing directly from survivors of abuse’

The QC in charge of football’s independent review into the sexual-abuse scandal has made a fresh appeal for victims to come forward and help the authorities in their “search for the truth”.

Related: The football child abuse scandal just keeps on growing

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 9:00 am

England 2-0 Spain: Euro 2017 – as it happened

Cool finishes from Fran Kirby and Jodie Taylor gave England a smash-and-grab victory over a Spain side who dominated throughout but created little

That’s an excellent win for England, who will savour the feeling of virtuous tiredness in the dressing-room. They were outpassed throughout, yet defended admirably and ensured that Karen Bardsley had little to do. The timing of the goals from Fran Kirby (2nd minute) and Jodie Taylor (85th) was perfect. Barring a shocker against Portugal on Thursday, England will be doing through to the quarter-finals. Thanks for your company, goodnight.

89 min England bring on Josanne Potter for the goalscorer Jodie Taylor, and Spain make two changes: Barbara Latorre and Virginia Torrecilla replace Sampedro and Ouahabi.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 8:34 am

On the tail of the uncommon lizard

They are widespread in the British Isles and could be found almost anywhere, but often aren’t, which is a bit of a mystery

The common lizard, Zootoca vivipara, is at its most numerous and active at this time of year. In late July it is giving birth to between three and 11 young at a time. They emerge from an egg sack that breaks during birth or immediately afterwards. That is why it is sometimes called viviparous lizard, meaning bearing live young, an unusual trait in reptiles.

Viviparous might be a better name in any case, as this lizard is not common at all in many places and some people may go for years without seeing one.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 8:30 am

Star Wars fans pay tribute to Carrie Fisher at Comic-Con

Four Star Wars costuming clubs came together at Comic-Con on Sunday, to stage a tribute to their favorite fallen princess.

Related: Ben Affleck says he will be The Batman despite report he would relinquish role

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 8:20 am

Man charged with rape and murder of woman in south-west London

33-year-old also accused of attack on second woman, and a 28-year-old man is charged with kidnap of both women

Two men have been charged by police investigating the killing of a teenager.

Metropolitan police said a 33-year-old man has been charged with the murder, rape and kidnap of a 19-year-old woman. He is further charged with the rape, attempted murder and kidnap of a second victim, a woman aged in her 20s.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 8:08 am

Snooty, world's oldest known manatee, dies aged 69 in 'heartbreaking accident'

Snooty, the world’s oldest known manatee, died on Sunday at his Florida home, a day after celebrating his 69th birthday.

In a statement, South Florida Museum chief executive Brynne Anne Besio said Snooty’s death appeared to be “a heartbreaking accident” and added that staff were “devastated”.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 7:59 am

Girl dies after being trapped under logs in Argyll, Scotland

Police called to incident near Benderloch but 8-year-old dies at scene and 12-year-old is airlifted to hospital in Oban

An eight-year-old girl has died and a 12-year-old girl has been airlifted to hospital after being trapped under logs in an Argyll forest.

The tragedy happened near the village of Benderloch outside Oban on Sunday. Police and other emergency services were called to the area after receiving a report that a girl had become trapped under logs.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 7:53 am

Anger, desire, energy: Jordan Spieth finally silences the devil on his shoulder | Andy Bull

The memory of his collapse at the Masters in 2016 was the biggest threat to Jordan Spieth’s Open victory – overcoming it shows how tough a golfer he is

The second shot was the one. It flew left and fell deep in the crowd gathered around the 1st green. From there, Jordan Spieth chipped on and missed a putt from 12 feet for a bogey. So he had dropped a shot before he had even made it off the 1st hole. The atmosphere crackled as the crowd realised that whatever else had happened in the last three days, whatever else would happen in the next four hours, one thing Spieth’s final round would not be was easy.

Related: Jordan Spieth’s astonishing 13th-hole recovery paves way for Open victory

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 7:52 am

Gay men to be allowed to give blood three months after sex

Medical advances mean time limit will be reduced from 12 months under plans for NHS in England

Blood donation restrictions for gay men and sex workers are to be relaxed in England and Scotland under a series of equalities reforms announced by the government. Gay men will be allowed to donate blood three months after sexual intercourse instead of a year. Sex workers, who were previously banned from donating, will be subject to the same three-month rule.

Advances in testing for blood-borne viruses, including hepatitis B and C and HIV, prompted the advisory committee on the safety of blood, tissues and organs to recommend the reforms to the government, which ministers accepted.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 7:37 am

Jordan Spieth’s astonishing 13th-hole recovery paves way for Open victory

• American beats Matt Kuchar by three shots to claim Claret Jug
• Recovery from mishit drive off driving range re-energises final round

Whatever else Jordan Spieth’s career yields – and expect it to be plenty – there will never be anything as remarkable as this. The 23-year-old will go to the US PGA Championship in under a month’s time needing only that title to complete the Grand Slam. If that seems partly logical given Spieth’s talent and ferocious mental strength, hard facts do a huge disservice to a truly astonishing afternoon on Merseyside.

At the end of it all, he became the youngest recipient of the Claret Jug since 1979. It is fitting that the man who prevailed then, Seve Ballesteros, had a propensity to play the central character in a drama. If a scriptwriter had delivered a script for this, the conclusion to the 146th Open Championship, the odds are it would have been rejected on the grounds of being fanciful.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 6:57 am

Nicola Jennings on the presenter pay gap – cartoon

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 6:35 am

Thrilling England win in World Cup final is great advert for women’s game | Vic Marks

After two excellent semi-finals the climax to the tournament provided more fantastic entertainment with the result in doubt to the last ball

It is the women who know how to enthral. After two riveting World Cup semi‑finals elsewhere here was a final that had a capacity crowd nervously glued to their seats one moment, then leaping out of them in delight yet still never knowing which side would prevail until the final ball was bowled. Somehow the men’s games this summer have been disappointingly one-sided by comparison.

This was not the decorous Lord’s of seasons past. The fans were chanting and gasping at every twist and turn. In the final overs each ball provoked raucous cheers from one set of fans or the other. Brilliant run-outs, scrambled singles, desperate dropped catches and then at the end – just as in the semi-final at Bristol – Anya Shrubsole was engulfed by team‑mates, exhausted not so much by the demands of the game but by the tension of a magnificent final. One-day cricket is a wonderful game when the outcome seems all-important.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 6:27 am

Jodie Taylor strike ensures England weather Spain possession at Euro 2017

• England 2-0 Spain (Kirby 2, Taylor 85)
• Scotland 1-2 Portugal (Cuthbert; Mendes, Leita)

The weather was extreme, the refereeing controversial and much of Spain’s passing exceptional but, not for the first time, Mark Sampson’s England found a way to win in adversity. Fran Kirby’s high-calibre early finish and another outstanding late goal from Jodie Taylor left them top of Group D and on the verge of qualification for the knockout phase.

Along with torrential rain the Lionesses were forced to weather quite a technical storm from a gifted Spain side who ranked as one of the pre-tournament favourites. But, despite ceding the bulk of possession, Sampson’s defence restricted their opponents to half-chances.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 6:25 am

Castleford in Super League driving seat before start of Super 8s

• Daryl Powell’s side assured of place in play-offs with 10-point lead
• Salford take fourth place after Wakefield’s 41-16 defeat by St Helens

The final day of the Super League regular season sprung a late shock when Salford sneaked into fourth place despite winning only one of their last seven games. A heavy home defeat by St Helens sent Wakefield out of the top four and opened the door to the Red Devils.

There have been surprising results throughout Super League’s 20th season and, after a roller-coaster 23 rounds, nobody is sure what the Super 8s will deliver in these final seven weeks.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 6:18 am

Charlie Gard's parents condemn abuse levelled at hospital staff

Couple say they have also faced backlash over legal case, after hospital reveals staff and patients have been threatened

The parents of critically ill baby Charlie Gard have condemned the abuse and death threats levelled at doctors and hospital staff where he is being treated, but said they have also faced an online backlash.

Connie Yates and Chris Gard, who have been involved in a lengthy legal battle over their son’s treatment, said they have faced online abuse after Great Ormond Street hospital (Gosh) revealed the extent of the threats its staff and patients had faced on Saturday.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 6:01 am

The Guardian view on Brexit and farming: outlook unsettled | Editorial

In his first speech last week, the new Defra secretary Michael Gove called Brexit ‘the unfrozen moment’. But that may not mean the sunlit uplands lie ahead for agriculture

The “unfrozen moment” Michael Gove, the new Defra secretary, called the impact of Brexit on agriculture and the environment in his first speech last week. It’s a deft description of the potential for transformation that leaving the EU offers, which is undoubtedly what Mr Gove intended. But it also conveys foreboding. That would be right too. Redesigning what is by far the most important relationship for the UK’s food and agriculture industry is full of risk – to the price the consumer pays for their food, to the familiar landscape of Britain, and to the complex network of relationships that sustains the rural economy.

The Brexit campaign was as light on the detail of what leaving the EU would mean for food and farming as it was for everything else – except for the claim that it would mean cheap food. Stripped of the costly common agriculture policy, the argument went, and able to import from around the world, the price of food in the shops would plummet. That remains an option. But it would come at a heavy cost. It would spell disaster for the farmers who compromise a little on productivity in order to nurture the environment; if, for example, it meant importing meat from the US, it would probably wreck Britain’s long improvement in farm animal welfare; and if it meant importing GM foods, it would almost certainly end the chance of a trade deal with Europe.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 5:34 am

The Guardian view on cryptocurrencies: bubble and chic | Editorial

The explosive growth of cryptocurrencies suggest there is more to the phenomenon than speculative froth. But what?

All money is a work of the imagination. Pound coins, dollar bills, and even the fragments of computer code known as bitcoins can do their work only because of a collective agreement that they will. That doesn’t mean they are imaginary. Their power is real, but it arises from mass belief. When people lose faith in a currency it can lose all its purchase on the real world and be reduced to nothing more than squiggles on paper, tulip bulbs or figures in a spreadsheet cell. So there is nothing unnatural in the efforts of libertarian computer programmers to invent their own money, and then to use these new currencies to buy things, among them old-fashioned currencies like dollars and euros. So long as enough people agree to believe in them, they exist like any other. Bitcoin, the oldest, best known and most valuable, has lasted for nine years now.

All these cryptocurrencies are made possible by an ingenious solution to a problem which would otherwise make purely digital currencies impossible. A digital currency is one which exists solely as a string of numbers inside a computer and copying numbers at lightning speed is the core competence of any computer. So there seemed to be no way to stop any given piece of digital currency from being copied and spent unlimited times. This ease of copying is what devastated the music industry and many others. It seemed to make digital money impossible even in theory. The solution turned out to be a programming device called the blockchain, which ensured that any transaction could be recorded in a way that was impossible for anyone ever to change. Applied to money, this means that the same bitcoin can’t be spent twice without changing hands.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 5:34 am

Liam Fox demands meeting with BBC over 'negative' Brexit stories

Lib Dems accuse minister of ‘blatant attempt at intimidating’ broadcaster with letter to director general

Liam Fox has demanded a meeting with the BBC’s director general in a letter where he complains that the corporation consistently runs negative stories about the economic effects of Brexit.

The international trade secretary wrote to Tony Hall to ask for a face-to-face meeting about the coverage, which the Liberal Democrats said was the behaviour of “a tin-pot dictator”.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 5:23 am

Chris Froome wins fourth Tour de France after Champs Élysées procession

• Team Sky rider tops overall standings 54sec ahead of Rigoberto Urán
• Dylan Groenewegen wins final stage in Paris sprint finish

The French capital was in lockdown on Sunday, with extra rings of security around the Champs Élysées, which had been turned into a vast sterile zone as a foretaste of what awaits the French capital when the Olympics arrive in either 2024 or 2028. In an understandable attempt to put Paris on display as never before, the race was routed through the Grand Palais with the riders racing under the famous glass roof, originally erected in 1897 for the universal exposition of the turn of the century.

For Chris Froome it was but a novel diversion en route to confirmation of his fourth Tour de France victory. The Team Sky rider crossed the line in the bunch behind the stage winner, Dylan Groenewegen, to win the yellow jersey by 54 seconds from Rigoberto Urán.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 5:20 am

It’s not just the BBC that must come clean about underpaying women | Sophie Walker

The Women’s Equality party is calling on other broadcasters to publish the salaries of their top earners, along with a gender pay gap action plan

• Sophie Walker is the leader of the Women’s Equality party

When the BBC published the salaries of its top earners, the results were not surprising, but they were shocking. They even managed, momentarily, to silence the gender pay gap myth-busters: the trolls who daily patrol social media challenging any mention of a pay gap with supposedly hard facts about the “choices” women make.

Silence fell – briefly – as everyone realised that this pay gap didn’t care about the privilege of its victims. The few female top earners were generally white, middle class and non-disabled. As horrifying and unjustifiable as the pay discrepancies are, the women who made the list earn considerable amounts of money. The BBC has also taken steps to improve its diversity. Its staff and programming still do not perfectly reflect the wider population, but compared with some other media organisations, it is making progress. So what hope do the rest of us have if the pay gap is this wide, regardless of the seniority of the staff or good intentions of the organisation?

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 5:08 am

Drop in wind energy costs adds pressure for government rethink

Tories urged to look at onshore windfarms which can be built as cheaply as gas plants and deliver the same power for half the cost of Hinkley Point, says Arup

Onshore windfarms could be built in the UK for the same cost as new gas power stations and would be nearly half as expensive as the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant, according to a leading engineering consultant.

Arup found that the technology has become so cheap that developers could deliver turbines for a guaranteed price of power so low that it would be effectively subsidy-free in terms of the impact on household energy bills.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 5:03 am

England beat India in thrilling final to win Women’s Cricket World Cup

• England 228-7; India 219 all out
• England win by nine runs

Anya Shrubsole arrived at this World Cup short of match practice. It was only in the semi-final win against South Africa that she bowled her allotted 10 overs. Those who knew her said she was peaking. How right they were. With the performance of a lifetime Shrubsole bowled England to a miraculous World Cup win with a remarkable spell of six for 46 – the best World Cup bowling figures for England and the country’s second best in all one-day international cricket.

It is England’s fourth World Cup win – 2017 joining 1973, 1993 and 2009 on the mantelpiece. Shrubsole was a non-playing member of the 2009 squad. She is the toast of the country eight years on.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 4:44 am

Beren and Lúthien by JRR Tolkien (ed: Christopher Tolkien) – digested read

‘All at once appeared some elves, who were not feeling quite themselves’

After the publication of The Silmarillion, which I found gathering dust in my father’s attic long after his death, I went rootling through his house in search of other discarded manuscripts. Eventually, I managed to assemble a manuscript of 17,835 pages that, for some reason, Allen and Unwin – like my father – believed to be unpublishable. Undeterred, I pressed on with editing these invaluable jottings to produce as many posthumous works as my father had managed to complete while he was alive along with a 12-volume history of Middle-earth without which any reading of The Lord of the Rings is pointless.

I should also add that though everything that is included in this book has been published elsewhere – I point readers in particular towards The Silmarillion, the Lost Tales, the Lay of Leithian and the Quenta Noldorinwa – this is the first time, and almost certainly the last, that anyone has tried to extract the story of Beren and Lúthien into a single coherent whole and explain how the narrative developed.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 4:00 am

Latest Republican health bill 'a porkfest, a monstrosity', Rand Paul says

Rand Paul, one of the conservative senators who has helped to hold up Republican healthcare reform, on Sunday derided the current Senate bill as a “monstrosity” and a “porkfest” and said he would not vote for it to proceed to debate this week.

Related: Republicans face two unpalatable options on replacement healthcare bill

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 3:58 am

Mother and baby forced to flee after robbers steal car in West Midlands

Woman and child escape uninjured after men drive off in her car in Solihull with them still inside

A mother was forced to flee for safety with her baby after her car was stolen in the West Midlands.

The pair escaped uninjured after the grey Audi RS6 was taken in Solihull on Saturday evening, police said.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 3:37 am

British man shot days before his wedding in Philippines

Tarek Naggar from East Dunbartonshire reportedly on life support after shooting during robbery in Cebu City

A British man in the Philippines has been shot two days before his wedding.

Tarek Naggar, 44, was reported to be critically injured and in intensive care after being attacked during a robbery on the island of Cebu.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 3:28 am

UK approved £283m of arms sales to Saudis after airstrike on Yemen funeral

Campaigners say Britain should have halted weapons exports after attack that caused international outrage

The British government approved £283m of arms sales to Saudi Arabia in the six months after a Saudi airstrike on a funeral that killed scores of people and was criticised by the UN, figures reveal.

The airstrike, on 8 October 2016, hit a funeral hall in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, killing 140 people and injuring hundreds more, in one of the bloodiest attacks in the two-year Saudi-led campaign in Yemen.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 3:27 am

Trump not convinced Russian meddling took place, communications chief says

Donald Trump remains unconvinced that Russia interfered in last year’s US election, his new communications chief said on Sunday, as the White House gave mixed signals about whether it would approve new sanctions against Moscow.

Related: Pardon me? Legal experts doubt Trump could absolve himself in Russia inquiry

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 3:19 am

Icarus film finds more than Greek tragedy in Russia doping scandal | Sean Ingle

Bryan Fogel’s docu-thriller dissects Russia’s drug-driven corruption of Olympics and challenges belief in world athletics that anti-doping drives are winning

Of all the remarkable scenes in Icarus, a new docu-thriller that forensically carries out a portmortem on how Russia corrupted the London 2012 Olympics and the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi through the eyes of its chief protagonist, one moment lingers longest – the reaction of leading anti-doping figures when the film’s director, Bryan Fogel, hits them with the grand reveal.

“This is the spreadsheet of every single Russian athlete on the state‑mandated protocol,” he tells them at a meeting in Los Angeles in May last year. “What every single athlete was taking in London, including their sample numbers and collection.”

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 3:05 am

The UK peddles a cynical colonialism and calls it aid | Zoe Williams

We applaud ourselves for spending 0.7% of GDP on aid, but this is just self-interest dressed up as benevolence

• Zoe Williams is a Guardian columnist

Most of the Conservative 2017 manifesto read like a sloppily constructed plot point in a tale of hubris. All platitudes, jingoism and bear traps, it was it was like the document you produce when you think you can’t lose, just before you do. Yet on the matter of international aid, it was precise: we were to maintain the commitment to spend 0.7% of GDP on aid, a target finally reached in 2013 and enshrined in law two years later. But we would, in the Conservative plan, “work with like-minded countries to change the rules”. And if that didn’t work, we would “change the law to allow us to use a better definition of development spending”.

In the context of the aid debate – which has been coarsened right down to: should we spend any money on foreigners, when we have problems of our own? – this seemed pretty innocuous. Money is money: what does it care about definitions? It has its own physical laws, and when you spend it, people benefit. More delicate questions of narrative and framing matter even less. So what if we stop talking about “aid” and start talking about “investment”? Doesn’t that just forge a more equal relationship between source nation and recipient? Why not talk about mutual benefit, about how our aid to others makes our own nation safer and more prosperous? If the secretary of state for international development, Priti Patel, has made it explicit that she wants to use the aid budget to “tear down the barriers to free trade”, isn’t that better than such an aim being implicit?

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 3:02 am

How fans were betrayed as Premier League club owners made fortunes | David Conn

When the Premier League was established with great fanfare 25 years ago, no mention was made of top club owners being allowed to walk away with millions

In the Football Association brochure that sanctioned the breakaway Premier League 25 years ago at the dawn of the first pay-TV deal, no mention was made of the personal fortunes it would make for the owners of the bigger clubs. Led by the self-appointed “Big Five” of Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Everton and Tottenham Hotspur, the First Division clubs had angled and threatened throughout the 1980s to leave the century-old Football League, so as not to share the new TV millions with the clubs in the three lower divisions. The FA’s culture had narrowed and curdled through that decade, which ended in 96 people being unlawfully killed at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final which the governing body itself had commissioned at Hillsborough.

Related: Deceit, determination and Murdoch's millions: how Premier League was born

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 3:00 am

How to win The Weakest Link, by its reigning champion

As the quiz show returns for a celebrity special, the winner of the ‘last ever’ episode gives his tips for avoiding Anne Robinson’s long goodbye

Farewell, fallback first-date topic; adieu, first line of obituary. I am the last and reigning champion of The Weakest Link: I was brought back by Anne Robinson for the final edition as one of her nine favourite contestants of all time, granted quizzing immortality in the final shootout by the holy trinity of Sebastian Vettel, Pablo Picasso, and the Roman numeral V. I was teatime telly’s own Odysseus, I was vanquisher of Robinson, I was the forever man. But no longer. They’re bringing it back for a bloody celebrity special. There may be a new series to follow. Robinson is on board. I most certainly am not.

Since I can’t stop this from happening, here are some tips for my successors on securing the Bland inheritance. I hope you choke on it.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 3:00 am

Mammoth effort: Sri Lankan navy rescues two elephants washed out to sea

Wild elephants brought ashore after rescue involving navy divers, ropes and flotilla of boats to tow them

Two young elephants washed out to sea have been saved from drowning by the Sri Lankan navy in the second such incident off the island in as many weeks.

The navy said the pair of wild elephants were brought ashore on Sunday after a mammoth effort involving navy divers, ropes and a flotilla of boats to tow them back to shallow waters.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 3:00 am

Celebrate Lady Hale – then make the senior judiciary more diverse | Erika Rackley

Brenda Hale’s appointment as president of the UK supreme court is a landmark. But the highest echelons of the legal profession still need change

Occurring just two years shy of the centenary of women entering the legal profession, Lady Hale’s appointment as president of the UK supreme court is a landmark for women lawyers and judges and for women in public life more generally. Another first ticked off a list that remains disappointingly long.

Related: 'Women are equal to everything': Lady Hale lives up to her motto

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 2:48 am

How 1967 changed gay life in Britain: ‘I think for my generation, we’re still a little bit uneasy’

The passing of the Sexual Offences Act 1967 was pivotal, although its effects were mixed and slow to be noticed. Simon Callow, Maureen Duffy and others remember the times before, and after, homosexuality was decriminalised

It’s 11.30pm on 14 June 1967. On BBC2, Late Night Line-Up is starting. A saxophone plays as the camera zooms in on a sober-looking panel of experts – a doctor, a social psychologist, a Conservative MP and a writer. They are there to discuss one of the burning issues of the day – homosexuality – and respond to a groundbreaking documentary shown earlier in the evening. That documentary, explains presenter Michael Dean, “made no judgments and passed no opinions. It let homosexuals speak for themselves about their common condition.”

The only person on the panel with the “condition” is Maureen Duffy, whose novel about lesbian life, The Microcosm, had been published the previous year (she was one of the first women in British public life to be openly lesbian). Now 83, she remembers that night as an important moment for gay visibility, but acknowledges that she was in a position of relative privilege. “I was a self-employed writer. I could not lose my job, as some people did if they were discovered to be gay. I had nothing to hide and so it was easy for me to speak up.” And, as a woman, her private life wasn’t criminalised, because the law ignored lesbians. Male homosexuality was still illegal, with “buggery” technically punishable by imprisonment for life. With many men understandably scared to identify themselves, “Those women for whom it was possible did stand up to be counted, made the case that it was unfair and did what they could,” says Duffy.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 2:00 am

Dairy wars: when a glass of milk is really a glass of m*lk

Following an EU court ruling that only animal products can bear the label ‘milk’, dairy farmers are calling for supermarket segregation from ‘frustrating’ plant- and nut-based rivals using the term

When is milk milk? Once upon a time, it was the white stuff that came from cows. Sure, there were skimmed, semi-skimmed and whole varieties, but they all came from the same place. Look down the milk aisle at most supermarkets today, however, and the choice of what to pour on your cornflakes is mind-boggling. It could be from a cow, a goat or a sheep; it could be lactose-free, organic or free-range; it might be made from almonds, oats, rice, coconuts, soya, hazelnuts, cashews, peanuts, hemp …

EU courts recently tried to restore a little order by reminding everyone that only liquid from animals could be called milk. As such, a product made from crushed nuts and water would not qualify. The Food Standards Agency has had rules to this effect in place in the UK since 2010. Since most plant-based alternatives to cow’s milk are nutritionally quite different from the real thing – they contain less protein, for example – dairy farmers argue that using the same name risks confusing consumers.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 2:00 am

BBC must 'look very hard at itself' over pay gap, says Jeremy Corbyn

Labour leader describes ‘appalling’ gender pay gap as 40 female presenters demand immediate action at BBC

The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, says the BBC needs to “look very hard at itself” over the gender pay gap, describing the gulf between men’s and women’s pay as appalling.

Household names including Newsnight presenters Emily Maitlis and Kirsty Wark, presenters Clare Balding and Angela Rippon and One Show host Alex Jones are among more than 40 women who have written to the director general, Tony Hall, to demand the BBC act to correct the pay gap. It was coordinated by Woman’s Hour host Jane Garvey.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 1:48 am

John Heard obituary

US stage and screen actor best known for Cutter’s Way, Home Alone and Deceived

John Heard, who has died aged 71, was an engaging, intelligent character actor in American film, television and theatre from the mid-1970s onwards. In Big (1988), his slyly funny turn as a resentful executive provided a welcome antidote to the sweetness of a comedy about a boy transformed overnight into a man.

In the smash hit Home Alone (1990), he mistakenly leaves behind his son while taking the rest of his family on holiday, contriving to repeat the oversight in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992). He was Goldie Hawn’s duplicitous husband, who fakes his own death, in the thriller Deceived (1991) and was nominated for an Emmy in 1999 for the first season of the HBO drama The Sopranos, in which he played a self-loathing detective in the pocket of the mafia.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 1:25 am

Chelsea apologise to Chinese fans over Kenedy’s ‘offensive’ Instagram posts

• Chelsea say Brazilian has been ‘strongly reprimanded and disciplined’
• ‘Messages caused great offence and hurt the feelings of the people of China’

Chelsea have issued an apology to their Chinese supporters after admitting social media posts by Kenedy had caused “great offence and hurt the feelings of the people of China”.

The defender wrote the messages on his Instagram account before Chelsea’s comfortable 3-0 win over Arsenal at the Bird’s Nest in Beijing. The 21-year-old was jeered during the pre-season friendly and has since apologised for his comments, and said any offence caused by now-deleted posts was “not intentional”.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 1:02 am

The lynx effect: are sheep farmers right to fear for their flocks?

Plans to bring the wild cats back to Northumberland have prompted concerns from farmers, but – from beavers to red kites – rewilding in the UK has generally been a success

More than a millennia has passed since lynx roamed Britain, and now the Lynx UK Trust – a community interest company formed in 2014 by conservationists and scientists – wants to reintroduce them into Kielder Forest in Northumberland. The trust’s plans have received opposition from the National Sheep Association, which says: “The consultation process adopted by Lynx UK Trust appears flawed and misleading.”

Related: Campaigners seek to reintroduce Eurasian lynx to parts of Britain

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 1:00 am

Israel refuses to remove metal detectors from mosque despite rising violence

Israelis and Palestinians braced for further confrontations in Jerusalem as death toll rises in wake of new security crackdown

Israeli officials have said they will not remove metal detectors from outside a Jerusalem mosque, despite their installation triggering rapidly escalating confrontations with Palestinians.

Amid a mounting toll of deaths and injuries in the crisis, Israelis and Palestinians are braced for weeks of confrontation, as both sides appeared to dig in to their positions.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 12:53 am

Best photos of the day: sunbathers and Comic-Con

The Guardian’s picture editors bring you a selection of photo highlights from around the world, including summer swims and opening of Vladivostok’s Patriot Park

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 12:47 am

World Series of Poker: 25-year-old wins title and $8.1m in first appearance

A New Jersey man with a degree in accounting is this year’s World Series of Poker champion.

Scott Blumstein won the no-limit Texas Hold ‘em main event early on Sunday in Las Vegas surrounded a crowd that included relatives and college friends. He is now $8.1m richer after eliminating Pennsylvania’s Daniel Ott on the 246th hand of the final table, more than 60 hands with just the two of them with bricks of bills and a gold bracelet separating them.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 12:39 am

While Hammond looks for a magic money tree, Labour has found one | Larry Elliott

If the chancellor is to fund higher spending without increasing borrowing, he will need revenue – step forward, Prof Avinash Persaud

For Spreadsheet Phil, the numbers look bad. Growth is weakening. Higher inflation means debt interest payments are rising. The recent election showed a nation heartily sick of austerity. There are pressures for higher public-sector pay.

The one big initiative announced by Philip Hammond in his year or so as chancellor was to move the annual budget from the spring to the autumn. Preparatory work for the first of those will begin in earnest over the summer, and nothing so far has suggested that Hammond will be in a generous mood. Quite the contrary, in fact.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 12:35 am

Man dies after struggle in east London shop following police chase

IPCC investigating incident in which 20-year-old allegedly seen trying to swallow an object before being taken ill

A 20-year-old man has died after being chased and apprehended by police in east London.

The man, named locally as Rashan Charles, was allegedly seen trying to swallow an object before being taken ill, and was pronounced dead in a hospital a short time later.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 12:26 am

The Trump resistance can be best described in one adjective: female | LA Kauffman

With the anti-Trump resistance, the preponderance of women is so noteworthy that failing to name it obscures the movement’s basic nature

It’s now been six dizzying and nauseating months since Donald Trump took the oath of office, and the brightest spot on the American political landscape is the grassroots resistance that has sprung up to counter his regime. No previous president ever faced so many protests so early in his term, and the millions who have taken to the streets since January can already take significant credit for stalling and frustrating key aspects of Trump’s agenda, from his Muslim ban to his bid to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

There are numerous qualities that distinguish this organizing upsurge from past waves of protest in the United States, but the most striking and significant is its composition: the resistance, by and large, is women.

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Posted on 24 July 2017 | 12:01 am

Bear chases 200 sheep over cliff edge to their deaths

French farmers hit out at reintroduction programme of brown bears in Pyrenees after incident on Spanish border

More than 200 sheep have plunged to their deaths in the Pyrenees while apparently trying to escape a brown bear. The bears have been reintroduced to the mountain region over the past three decades after being wiped out by hunters.

The sheep, which belonged to a farmer in Couflens, south-west France, are thought to have taken fright when the bear appeared in the area last Sunday.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 11:10 pm

The House They Grew Up In review – Samantha Spiro is magnetic in humane hymn to tolerance

Minerva Theatre, Chichester
Deborah Bruce’s play follows the fallout of a friendship between a young boy and an autistic, eccentric hoarder as police, press and property hunters prey on them

Optimism is a rare quality in modern drama. But, while it is something to be prized, the hopeful conclusion to Deborah Bruce’s new play doesn’t follow from the evidence. Having dealt in The Distance with the numbed isolation of a woman who abandons her family, Bruce now tackles the opposite problem of reclusive siblings weighed down by their parental past. Watchable as the play is, I couldn’t believe in its ultimate cheerfulness.

Bruce sets up the situation well, showing the middle-aged Daniel and Peppy living in their family home surrounded by the accumulated clutter of the decades: something vividly realised in Max Jones’s claustrophobic design. The sedentary, autistic Daniel spends his days compulsively recording everything on a tape recorder and listening to it through headphones. Peppy, who claims to have left Cambridge to look after him, is fussily protective and obsessed with art history. But their peace is disrupted when the friendship shown towards Daniel by an eight-year-old neighbour, Ben, is misinterpreted. This heralds the arrival of the police, an angry mother, predatory property hunters and even a snooping photographer.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 11:07 pm

Labour would leave single market, says Jeremy Corbyn

Labour leader says market membership is dependent on being in EU, but party would seek to mirror its benefits with trade deal

A Labour government would leave the single market because it is “dependent on membership of the EU” but seek a trade deal that mirrored the free trade benefits, Jeremy Corbyn has said.

The Labour leader’s explanation of his party’s Brexit policy was questioned by the former shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna, one of the party’s leading advocates of a soft Brexit, who pointed out that several countries including Norway were members of the single market without being full EU members.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 11:05 pm

'Nobody has one button': Steve Jobs opera sings Apple founder's praises – and flaws

The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, which premieres at the Sante Fe Opera this weekend, dramatizes Jobs’s life in a unique way. We spoke with one of its co-creators to find out how the idea was born

When San Francisco bay area-based composer and electronic music DJ Mason Bates recently visited the childhood home of Silicon Valley entrepreneur Steve Jobs, he was in awe.

“It all started in that garage,” Bates said in a hushed, reverent voice, as we pulled up in the composer’s 1970s Alfa Romeo outside the nondescript bungalow at 2066 Crist Drive in Los Altos. Located on an un-trafficked suburban street, the building’s only distinguishing feature was the “no trespassing” sign on the austere patch of lawn out front.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 11:00 pm

Florida county sued for detention of US citizen at behest of immigration officials

Suit against Miami-Dade County claims Honduran-born Garland Creedle was illegally detained, as activists hope to restore Miami’s ‘sanctuary city’ status


In itself, Garland Creedle’s short stay at Miami’s Turner Guilford Knight correctional centre ought to have been unremarkable. Arrested after an alleged domestic dispute at his family’s home one evening in March, the 18-year-old posted bond, and charges were never filed.

The Honduran-born teenager, however, now finds himself at the centre of a legal fight that immigration activists hope could ultimately restore Miami’s status as a so-called sanctuary city – and end county mayor Carlos Gimenez’s controversial cooperation with Donald Trump’s aggressive anti-immigrant agenda.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 11:00 pm

Lipstick Under My Burkha's release hailed as victory for Indian women

Film banned from cinemas for its ‘contagious sex scenes’, makes its debut after lengthy battle with censors

An award-winning Hindi film initially banned from cinemas for being too “lady-oriented” has made its debut across India in what its director hailed as a major victory for women.

Lipstick Under My Burkha, which depicts the secret world, including the sex lives, of four small-town Indian women, was released at the weekend after months of wrangling with the country’s notoriously prudish censors.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 10:37 pm

Deceit, determination and Murdoch's millions: how Premier League was born

Twenty-five years ago Rick Parry, David Dein and Greg Dyke turned British football on its head. Here the men behind the revolutionary deal retell the story

Rick Parry is showing me the most important document in the recent history of British sport. He has a photo of it on his phone. “Here it is in my handwriting,” he says. “Graham was upstairs, waiting for me to tell him, and I’d forgotten to put FA. So that’s Graham’s writing on the top going ‘by the way, that’s the FA Premier League’.”

“Graham” is Graham Kelly, the former chief executive of the Football Association. In 1991 he hired Parry to help him with a problem. Out of that problem was born a football competition that has become a global brand, a sporting hegemon and a form of soft power for the United Kingdom in the 21st century. But visible even in its totemic “founders’ agreement”, the document on Parry’s phone, were the tensions that would make the Premier League sometimes as reviled as it was beloved.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 10:22 pm

Tour de France 2017 – in pictures

As this year’s Tour reaches its climax after 20 stages of racing, we bring you some of our favourite images from three weeks of two-wheel action

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 10:00 pm

Leftwing Breitbart? Chapo Trap House is strong new voice in resistance to Trump

Among Democrats and progressives, the best way ahead is up for fierce and fractious debate. Some younger voices are shouting louder than others

It has been called the leftwing alternative to Breitbart – a subversive, humorous and politics-focused new media presence that has attracted a devoted following on both sides of the Atlantic.

Related: Could Kamala Harris revive the fractured Democratic party for the 2020 election?

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 10:00 pm

Gorgeous Georgia: walking in the Svaneti's mountains

New flights from the UK have opened up the country’s unspoilt north west, an area of mighty peaks, flower meadows and fantastic hiking country

In June, Wizz Air added Georgia routes to its timetable from Luton – flying not to the capital Tbilisi, but to Kutaisi, in the west, a place I’d never heard of. A gateway for exploring the Svaneti region, home to the mighty Caucasus mountains, it offers a genuinely off-the-beaten-track adventure for Brits (compounded by a 3am arrival time). Accommodation, I had been told, is quite basic, but if the weather is kind, the scenery is superb, utterly unspoilt and great for trekking – and with a fares from £24 one-way for the five-hour flight, a bargain too.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 10:00 pm

Labour sounds alarm over rollout of universal credit rape clause into N Ireland

Opposition calls for parliamentary debate, saying women risk being criminalised if two-child limit is imposed in region

Labour is raising the alarm about a government attempt to extend to Northern Ireland a policy that imposes a two-child limit on universal credit recipients unless a woman can show she has been raped.

The move could place Theresa May on a collision course with the Democratic Unionist party, on whom she is relying on for her minority Conservative government to win votes in Westminster.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 9:39 pm

Diana documentary reveals William and Harry regret 'rushed' last call

Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry speak out about coping with grief and loss after the death of their mother 20 years ago

The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry have revealed deep remorse that their last conversation with their mother was a brief phone call that they cut short because they were too busy playing with their cousins.

In a documentary about Diana, Princess of Wales, her sons speak candidly about their grief, their loss, and coping with the shock of her premature death, aged 36, 20 years ago.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 9:04 pm

What I learned from home DNA testing

They promise to reveal everything from our ancestry to our chances of serious illness. But are DNA tests accurate and do they tell us anything worthwhile?

There may come a time in everyone’s life when they find themselves sitting at the kitchen table on an otherwise unexceptional weekday morning, drooling saliva into a test tube in the spirit of scientific inquiry.

The spit is for one of the home genetic-testing kits I’m sampling. A growing number of these kits (brands such as 23andMe, DNAFit, Thriva, MyHeritage DNA, and Orig3n) promise to unlock the mystery of your genomes, variously explaining everything from ancestry, residual Neanderthal variants, “bioinformatics” for fitness, weight loss and skincare, to more random genetic predispositions, denoting, say, the dimensions of your earlobes or the consistency of your earwax.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 9:00 pm

England faced with no easy answers after painful defeat by South Africa

Tom Westley makes his Test debut but the rest of Joe Root’s chastened side is marked by uncertainty as they attempt to bounce back at The Oval

So which side are going to be thrashed at The Oval? The series between England and South Africa has not been short of incident or interest but, while it stands tantalisingly at 1-1, a tense, fingernail chewing finish to a Test has been the missing ingredient. Add a couple of those and we have a series to remember for a long time. Modern cricketers do not seem so adept at digging themselves out of holes.

Related: Joe Root says England must learn fast from defeat Trevor Bayliss calls ‘shocker’

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 9:00 pm

'There is inevitably an arms race': parents on opportunity hoarding

We asked readers to share their thoughts about how far they’d go to give their children the best chance in life.

We recently published a piece by Richard Reeves, who was former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg’s director of strategy, in which he challenged parents in the US to acknowledge their role in “hoarding” opportunity for their own children at the expense of those from poorer families.

We asked readers to share their thoughts about opportunity hoarding and how far they’d go to give their children the best chance in life. The responses revealed anxiety about growing inequality and acceptance of the inequity of the lottery of birth. But they also revealed a reluctance to take steps that would disadvantage their own child.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 9:00 pm

Sexism in advertising is a problem – but hardly the worst one | David Mitchell

The Advertising Standards Authority’s move to stamp out gender stereotyping is a good thing, but is it really a priority?

When I heard last week’s news that the Advertising Standards Authority is proposing to crack down on gender stereotyping in adverts, I found my reaction interesting. If only you could do the same. But then I am pretty easily entertained. I’ve been known to watch golf if the remote’s out of reach.

It was quite a negative reaction – I won’t deny it. There’s no point in being ashamed – it was involuntary. It’s like someone shouting “Heil Hitler!” in their sleep. It turns out that’s just who they are.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 9:00 pm

The art of making a jihadist

We know about jihadists’ dedication to violence, but that’s not the whole story, says expert Thomas Hegghammer. There’s a hidden culture of poetry, music and storytelling that sustains their ideology

When Jihadi John, the Islamist terrorist who gloried in decapitating hostages, was exposed as Mohammed Emwazi, a spokesman from Cage recalled the west Londoner bringing “posh baklava” to the advocacy group’s offices. He described the knife-wielding murderer and gloating torturer as “a beautiful young man… extremely kind, gentle and soft-spoken, the most humble young person I knew”.

One of the people who inspired Emwazi was Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, renowned for leading the group that beheaded and tortured many western hostages in Iraq, including the British engineer Kenneth Bigley. Zarqawi was known as the Sheikh of the Slaughterers, but he was also referred to as He Who Weeps A Lot, for his habit of crying during prayer.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 8:30 pm

The billion-dollar palaces of Apple, Facebook and Google

From California to London, the tech giants are employing top architects to build spectacular symbols of their immense global power. But they have their critics…

We know by now that the internet is a giant playpen, a landscape of toys, distractions and instant gratification, of chirps and squeaks and bright, shiny things – plus, to be sure, ugly, horrid beasties lurking in all the softness – apparently without horizon. Graphics – rounded corners, lower case, Google’s primary colours, Twitter’s birdie, Facebook’s shades of blue – enhance the innocence and infantilism. It is a world, as Jonathan Franzen once said, “so responsive to our wishes as to be, effectively, a mere extension of the self”. Until we chance on the bars of the playpen and find that there are places we can’t go and that it is in the gift of the grown-ups on the other side to set or move the limits to our freedom.

We’re talking here of virtual space. But those grown-ups, the tech giants, Apple, Facebook, Google and the rest, are also in the business of building physical billion-dollar enclaves for their thousands of employees. Here too they create calibrated lands of fun, wherein staff offer their lives, body and soul, day and night, in return for gyms, Olympic-sized swimming pools, climbing walls, basketball courts, running tracks and hiking trails, indoor football pitches, massage rooms and hanging gardens, performance venues, amiable art and lovable graphics. They have been doing this for a while – what is changing is the sheer scale and extravagance of these places.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 8:00 pm

Ian McMillan: ‘Barnsley is culturally very interesting’

The ‘bard of Barnsley’ on his new libretto for Ice-Cream: The Opera – and living in the village where he grew up

Ian McMillan, nicknamed the bard of Barnsley, is a poet, writer, playwright and saviour of dialect, especially that of his native south Yorkshire. He is best known as presenter of The Verb on Radio 3. His first job, in the 1970s, was on a buff and dip machine, sticking together tennis balls. He has been poet in residence at Barnsley Football Club, Humberside Police and English National Opera. He has written the text for Ice Cream: The Opera, receiving its world premiere at Bradford festival on Sunday 30 July.

You’ve said this opera is so hot it’ll melt your heart. How so?
Because it’s the first opera ever set on two separate ice-cream vans. It’s about warring ice-cream families. It’s a kind of Romeo and Juliet or West Side Story. Without giving any spoilers, I’ll bet it all works out all right in the end. The composer is Russell Sarre, an Australian who lives in America. It was all done by email – I’d send him words at a sensible time in Barnsley and he’d get them at a not sensible time in the States. It’s a challenge not being in the same room, or even the same continent.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 8:00 pm

Lana Del Rey: Lust for Life review – topical tunes and retro bombs

(Polydor)
The singer looks outward on her fourth album in a state-of-the-nation address peppered with guest stars and pop history flashbacks

Most pop stars innovate every album cycle, a fraught hustle that is of a piece with this era’s frantic audio production values. That’s all beneath Lana Del Rey.

The ageless 32-year-old arrived at a languid sound, a detached authorial voice and a set of obsessions on her 2012 debut Born to Die, and her fourth album remains true to them all. One fine track sums up her entire oeuvre: the title of Summer Bummer reflects the consistently high mercury of Del Rey’s mises-en-scène; and there is usually a worm at the centre of her perfect peach. The rhyme reflects the way all this glossy nihilism is often delivered with a wink.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 8:00 pm

Your pictures: share your photos on the theme of 'dazzling'

Wherever you are in the world, this week we’d like to see your pictures on the theme ‘dazzling’

The next theme for our weekly photography assignment in the Observer New Review is ‘dazzling.’ Share your photos of what dazzling means to you – and tell us about your image in the description box.

The closing date is Thursday 27 July at 10 am. We’ll publish our favourites in The New Review on Sunday 30 July and in a gallery on the Guardian site.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 8:00 pm

Jorja Smith review – homegrown R&B’s new voice

Electric Brixton, London
The Walsall prodigy combines soul with classical grace in a set full of shiny new songs – so why such a long wait for her debut album?

By the time you’re 20, no one is really judging you on your A-levels any more. But its worth noting that the soulful R&B phenomenon Jorja Smith – playing a sweltering, one-off gig tonight – once wrote an A-level dissertation entitled “Is Postcolonialism Still Present in Grime Music?”

Her defining single of 2016, meanwhile, was a jazzy outing called Beautiful Little Fools, released on International Women’s Day. It was inspired by the role of women in The Great Gatsby, and written while she was still at school.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 8:00 pm

The Observer critics’ guide to the summer holidays

Make cultural hay while the sun shines with our suggestions for reading, viewing and listening, from dreamy R&B to vintage Keanu Reeves to op art in the country

Pop
Beyond the boutique tag, Houghton festival in Norfolk (10-13 August) specialises in high-end electronic music, from minimal techno to reggae. Sensitively curated by Craig Richards, artist-cum-Fabric DJ, it boasts a cogent bill – Ricardo Villalobos headlines, Nicolas Jaar and Floating Points promise lengthy DJ sets – and an atmospheric lakeside setting with an abandoned warehouse for those old-skool rave vibes. The festival boasts proper art, too, with works by James Turrell, Richard Long and Rachel Whiteread on the bill.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 7:30 pm

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie review – more than just flatulence gags

This surprisingly nuanced animation intersperses lavatory humour with narrative invention

Although one of the foundations on which much children’s cinema was built, lavatory humour was always perceived as an inglorious last resort. Can’t think of a funny line? Have a character break wind instead. By this logic, Captain Underpants, a film almost entirely crafted out of lavatory humour, should be a soul-crushing, puerile slog. However, David Soren’s animation, which was adapted from the children’s books by Dav Pilkey, is a delightful surprise. It’s a celebration of friendship, of the boundless creativity of children’s minds. It’s a dizzily silly collection of sly cultural references. It’s visually inventive, narratively agile. And yes, it has fart gags.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 7:00 pm

Frankly, banks – it’s time to give a damn about your image

Ten years on from the credit crisis, things still aren’t looking good at two of our biggest financial institutions

Another week, another chance to take a kick at the banks, which are collectively showing very few signs of wanting to improve their image a decade after the financial crisis.

We have results from Barclays, which is the first time the bank has had to face the City since the unveiling of a date for its criminal trial – of ex-chief John Varley and three former colleagues – on charges concerning the way the bank raised billions of pounds from Qatar in 2008. Anyway, block January 2019 out of your diary.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 6:00 pm

The rebirth of Google Glass shows the merit of failure | John Naughton

The much-mocked wearable computer, refashioned as an aid for factory workers, is the latest success born of a commercial flop

Remember Google Glass? It was the name coined for spectacles developed by Google’s (now Alphabet’s) X division (the company’s intellectual sandpit in which engineers develop way-out ideas). Looking at first sight like a cheap pair of non-prescription reading glasses, Glass functioned as a kind of miniature head-up display (a transparent screen that allows users to read data without having to change their viewpoint). Over part of the right-hand lens was a small rectangular block of glass which functioned as a miniature computer monitor. Inside the right-hand support (the part that goes over your ear) Google had packed memory, a processor, a camera, speaker and microphone, Bluetooth and wifi antennas, an accelerometer, gyroscope, compass and a battery. So when you put on your spectacles you were, in fact, donning a tiny wearable computer.

Glass was first announced in 2012 and made available (for $1,500) to select early adopters (dubbed “Glass explorers”) in 2013. It went on sale to the general public in May 2014. In technical terms, it was an amazing piece of miniaturisation. Driven by voice commands, it had quite impressive functionality. You could tell it to take a photograph, for example, or record a video of what you were looking at. Similarly, you could call up a Google search about something you were looking at and have the results displayed in surprisingly readable form on the tiny screen – which appeared to be suspended some distance ahead of you in space. In that sense, Glass looked like the realisation of a dream that early tech visionaries like Douglas Engelbart had – of technology that could usefully augment human capabilities with computing power.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 6:00 pm

Yes, the gender pay gap rules are flawed. But they’re the best hope of making things better

Following the debacle over BBC salaries, it isn’t surprising that boardrooms across Britain are dreading the imminent requirement for transparency

Isn’t transparency on pay wonderful? You might struggle to find many BBC managers who would agree with the sentiment after the corporation’s tricky week for harmonious staff relations. The publication of the salaries of those earning more than £150,000 a year provoked anger, recrimination and reasonable accusations of gender bias.

The BBC’s experience will also have sent shudders through many boardrooms in the corporate world. Unlike the BBC, none will have to give details of everyone earning more than £150,000; that requirement was an odd, and probably politically motivated, condition of the BBC’s charter renewal. But about 9,000 large employers will have to file data on their gender pay gap by April next year. The figures will be in the public domain on an official website, hence the worry that upsets and rows at the BBC will be repeated among millions of workers, albeit with less publicity.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 6:00 pm

Female channel bosses have earned top billing

Amid the controversy and pay gaps exposed by the BBC’s salary disclosures, two highly skilled and talented women have risen to the top of the broadcasting industry

Here, in the midst of current controversy, is some good news. The new leaders of both ITV and Channel 4 are both women (replacing men). More good news sees them not only succeeding on equal terms, but winning the same heady blend of salaries and add-ons. At which point, however, we encounter a few shades of grey.

Carolyn McCall, flying in from an easyJet hangar in Luton, is reportedly on course to make £25.2m over the next five years at ITV, if all goes well (an edifice built on the foundations of £900,000 pa). Her predecessor, Adam Crozier, has earned £24.9m since 2012. Alex Mahon, replacing David Abraham atop C4, can expect to hit his £881,000 a year, perhaps edging closer to a million if the ad revenue rolls in (as it did at the end of Abraham’s reign).

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 6:00 pm

Sean Spicer’s gone but PR joke’s not over

Trump’s press secretary has bowed out but the president was really in charge of communication anyway

Headlines across the globe signal the exit of a White House press secretary, but it’s hard to understand why. Sean Spicer was left to play the buffoon by his commander-in-chief. He swiftly became a bad joke, one confirmed when yet another reshuffle plonked a banker without PR experience in place as his head of communications. Communication, it may be gently added, is not this US administration’s strongest suit.

But does any of this really amount to much, apart from TV satirists doomed to search for another target? The plain fact about Donald Trump’s presidency from day one is that he is the only communicator who counts. His tweets, his ad libs, his body language send the messages that really matter; and there’s no sign of that changing. Sean Spicer only seemed important because journalists like to think that the ritual of press briefings make them important. Now that briefing operation is more disembodied than ever, an irrelevance just pottering on.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 6:00 pm

The Generation Game to return to BBC with Mel and Sue

Family show once hosted by Bruce Forsyth and famous for conveyor belt of toasters and household electricals to be revived

Television presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins will soon be back together on BBC1 again, urging on amateur competitors, but not in a baking contest.

Instead it has been announced that the two former Great British Bake Off stars are to present a fresh version of gameshow The Generation Game, a family favourite that began in 1971 and was hosted for many years by Bruce Forsyth.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 5:00 pm

I’m unsure about the fiancee my parents found me | Mariella Frostrup

Mariella Frostrup tells a Muslim man that if they are both willing to make it work they stand as much chance of success as those who marry for love

The dilemma I am a 27-year-old man and a practising Muslim. I currently live in Germany. I am very liberal, and I respect the freedom and rights of women.

I am engaged to a 24-year-old Pakistani-British girl, arranged by our families. I think you know how things are done in Pakistani families. We have been talking/texting for the last six months.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 5:00 pm

Don’t water plants on sunny days? Three horticultural myths exposed

Some sage old sayings are based on facts – others are not worth the bother

While many age-old gardening practices are now supported by scientific evidence, some of the most common ones have consistently been shown to be either unnecessary or downright counterproductive when put to the test. So simply not bothering with the following three conventional pieces of gardening “wisdom” could save you time and effort, and will almost certainly give you the same or even better results. Old school horts, look away now…

Not bothering with three conventional pieces of gardening 'wisdom' could save you time and effort

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 5:00 pm

How to stand the test of time as an artist | Ryan Holiday

The most enduring works are made with heartfelt intent, says Ryan Holiday, not to mention a lot of hard work

In 1937, literary critic Cyril Connolly sat down to write a book around an unusual question: how does an author create something that lasts for 10 years? Connolly’s view was that the mark of literary greatness lay in standing the test of time. With the spectre of world war looming on the horizon, the idea of anything surviving in an uncertain future had a kind of poignancy and meaning to it.

The book that Connolly wrote, Enemies of Promise, explored contemporary literature and the timeless challenges of making great art. While it never became a trendy cultural sensation, this unusual book ultimately endured through wars, political revolutions, fads, massive technological disruption and so much else. It lasted first for a decade – in 1948, 10 years after its release, Enemies of Promise was expanded and given its first reprinting. The book got the same treatment in 2008.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 5:00 pm

Cold spring leaves French grape harvest headed for historic low

Agriculture ministry says wine production from Bordeaux to Alsace has dropped dramatically

Knocked off course by a cold spring snap, French wine production from Bordeaux to Alsace has dropped dramatically this year and could hit “a historic low”, according to the agriculture ministry.

“At 37.6 million hectolitres the 2017 harvest is set to come in 17% lower than in 2016, and 16% below the average of the past five years,” the ministry’s statistics bureau Agreste said on Saturday.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 4:38 pm

'I will be back': Violin-playing face of Venezuela's protests injured in clashes

Wuilly Arteaga posts defiant video message from hospital bed as opposition announces fresh national strikes

Venezuela’s opposition have announced a two-day national strike against President Nicolas Maduro following a day of violent clashes in Caracas on Saturday where the injured included a violinist who has become the face of the protests.

“Neither rubber bullets nor pellets will stop our fight for Venezuela’s independence,” said musician Wuilly Arteaga. The 23-year-old has become famous in Venezuela for playing the national anthem and other tunes on his violin in front of security lines as battles rage around him. “Tomorrow I will be back in the streets.”

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 2:30 pm

Fukushima: robot images show massive deposits thought to be melted nuclear fuel

Robot spots suspected debris of melted fuel for first time since 2011 earthquake and tsunami destroyed the plant

Images captured by an underwater robot on Saturday showed massive deposits believed to be melted nuclear fuel covering the floor of a damaged reactor at Japan’s destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant.

The robot found large amounts of solidified lava-like rocks and lumps in layers as thick as 1m on the bottom inside a main structure called the pedestal that sits underneath the core inside the primary containment vessel of Fukushima’s Unit 3 reactor, said the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 1:02 pm

Indonesia police ordered to shoot drug dealers to tackle 'narcotics emergency'

President Joko Widodo’s comments echo those of Philippines leader Rodrigo Duterte, whose drug war has killed thousands

Indonesia’s president, Joko Widodo, has told law enforcement officers to shoot drug traffickers to deal with what he called a “narcotics emergency” facing the country.

“Be firm, especially to foreign drug dealers who enter the country and resist arrest. Shoot them because we indeed are in a narcotics emergency position now,” Widodo said in a speech delivered at a political event late on Friday.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 12:21 pm

Kamala Harris: young, black, female – and the Democrats’ best bet for 2020?

She has only been a senator since last January, but the presidential buzz is growing as the party debates the need for a radical edge

Kamala Harris, California’s new senator, earlier this month made a visit to Chowchilla state prison, often described as the largest women’s prison in the world. Harris, only the second black woman to have been elected to the senate, toured the facility and sat down to talk with inmates. She later called them “extraordinary”, and praised their optimism about finding a new life after prison.

But the moment she dwelled on most was a visit to the silk-screening room, where the women were manufacturing American flags.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 11:05 am

We can’t prepare to leave Europe until we know where we’re going | Andrew Rawnsley

The battle for a transition deal seems to have been won. This resolves one argument, only to ignite many others

Tick. Tock. We have now got to that scene in the Brexit movie where rivulets of sweat begin to drip down the faces of the crew. They have noticed that the clock is running down. It is nearly four months since Mrs May dispatched her letter telling the EU that Britain was leaving. Yet nothing has been agreed. The cabinet continues to quarrel about the ultimate shape of Brexit. The talks in Brussels are making little discernible progress in critical areas. Time is one of Britain’s worst enemies in this process – and the clock becomes a more deadly foe with each day that is wasted.

It never was credible that the many aspects of this country’s ties with its closest neighbours and most important trading partners could be renegotiated to the remorseless timetable that kicked in when Mrs May invoked article 50. Britain’s political and economic relationship with the EU is the product of more than four decades of intricate engagement.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 11:05 am

When did charming become cranky? Why a middle-aged Morrissey is so hard to love

As a new biopic England is Mine charts the Smiths singer’s early life, fans speak of their disillusion at his increasingly outspoken views

Like countless musicians, managers and record labels before them, the makers of the new movie England Is Mine have discovered that nothing is easy where Morrissey is involved. The unauthorised biopic follows ambitious young Steven Patrick Morrissey up to the point, in 1982, when he met guitarist Johnny Marr and formed the Smiths, the most fiercely beloved British band of their generation. The title comes from one of Morrissey’s many indelible lyrics: “England is mine and it owes me a living.”

On 23 May, however, Morrissey published a dog-whistling Facebook post about the terrorist attack in Manchester which criticised Sadiq Khan, immigration and political correctness: “In modern Britain everyone seems petrified to officially say what we all say in private.” Many fans were dismayed, not for the first time. Now a film that purports to show the birth of a star risks looking like the story of the apprenticeship of a resentful crank.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 11:05 am

Can Ellen Johnson Sirleaf save Liberia?

Africa’s first elected female president has made giant steps in ridding her country of warlords, rape and child soldiers, but much remains to be done

It’s not every day a president invites you into their bedroom. But then Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the president of Liberia, is not your typical president. A woman for one thing, the first ever elected to lead an African nation, she’s also had several previous lives: freedom fighter, banker, UN bureaucrat, rebel, farmer, grandmother-in-chief. Would I like to go inside her room? Hell, yes!

We went to school in the city, and spent the vacations here in my father’s village. We crossed two different worlds

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 11:05 am

A new way to love: in praise of polyamory

Polyamory isn’t monogamy and it isn’t swinging, it’s being open to having loving relationships with different people of different sexes at the same time, and in that way learning to love yourself, too

I have never enjoyed typical monogamy. It makes me think of dowries and possessive prairie voles who mate for life, and historically all monogamous relationship models have owned women in some way, with marriage there for financial purposes and the ownership of property.

It opens the boundaries between friend and lover in a safe way

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 11:05 am

La La Land meets Isle of Wight in Minghella Jr’s debut as a director

Max Minghella follows in father Anthony’s footsteps as a screenwriter and director

The late Anthony Minghella was one of Britain’s most admired film-makers, winning nine Oscars for The English Patient, the war drama he wrote and directed, inspired by Michael Ondaatje’s novel. A decade after his death, his son is following in his footsteps as a writer and director, working with the producer of La La Land, the musical that won six Oscars this year.

Actor Max Minghella is making his directorial debut with a British feature film set on the Isle of Wight, where his father’s family ran an ice-cream business. The new film, Teen Spirit, is a coming-of-age drama about a shy girl who has dreams of becoming a pop star and enters an international music competition.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 11:05 am

‘Imagine living with this crap’: tempers in Venice boil over in tourist high season

As residents leave and visitor numbers soar, the city’s quality of life is being eroded. This summer, irate locals have taken to the streets

Emotions run high in Venice, the Italian island city that fascinates visitors even as it exasperates the dwindling band of local inhabitants.

Venice is still known as La Serenissima, the most serene, and was once a place where the population rubbed gracefully along with visitors made up mostly of intellectuals, writers and artists. It is difficult now to imagine that happy coexistence, when you wander through the intricate maze of alleys and waterways and speak to local people. Depopulation and mass tourism have long been causes of local despair. But this summer it feels as if a tipping point may not be far away.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 11:04 am

EU will hit Poland with deadline to reverse curbs on judicial freedom

Protests continue after senate approves laws seen as serious threat to democracy

The EU is expected to give Poland’s rightwing government until September to reverse a controversial set of laws that give the country’s politicians control over its supreme court.

Related: Poland's former president Lech Wałęsa joins protest against judicial overhaul

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 11:04 am

Rushing into a trade deal with the US would harm the UK | Adam Marshall

The head of the British Chambers of Commerce says Britain would be outflanked in any hastily arranged transatlantic deal agreement

As someone born in the US who has spent all his adult life in the UK, you might think I would be a natural advocate for a comprehensive US-UK free trade agreement. After all, more than 15% of all UK goods exports already go to the US – the biggest percentage for any single country, if the 47% of UK goods exports that go to the EU’s 27 countries are discounted.

The US and UK are the world’s two pre-eminent services exporters and the flow of knowledge and deals between them is similarly immense, as is the healthy competition between firms and financial centres. Because of this, a surprisingly large number of politicians and commentators seem to believe that, rather than pursuing quick wins that tackle some of the practical issues faced in UK-US trade, a comprehensive FTA with the US should be an early goal for post-Brexit Britain.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 11:03 am

After the pay furore, the BBC now has a chance to be a beacon for fairness | Will Hutton

The corporation faced down critics over its salaries for ‘talent’ and should commit to equity for all staff

‘The BBC is really hurting today,” declared Jeremy Vine outside Wogan House, the home of Radio 2 last week, as the country learned that the broadcaster was paid north of £700,000 a year. He was right, which is what the corporation’s Tory critics so ardently wanted. Over the day, various household names squirmed as they were confronted with the reality that by the standards of the mass of their viewers or listeners – those paying the licence fee – their pay was eye-wateringly high.

BBC arguments about needing to keep up with the market were palpably overstated. Where else are John Humphrys or Jeremy Vine likely to broadcast to such big audiences in such well-loved prestigious programmes with such fantastic production support? Dozens of broadcasters would jump into their shoes if given the chance. The architects of the BBC’s pay disclosure regime seemed to have achieved their objective: the BBC cannot be trusted with the public’s money – it plainly needs to be downsized or done away with.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 11:02 am

Christopher Nolan: from superheroes to Dunkirk’s small tales of heroism | the Observer profile

His bold experimental films and blockbuster franchises have met with huge commercial success. Now the director reveals new depths of warmth and humanity with his potent war movie

When initial details emerged about the new film Dunkirk, attention focused disproportionately on the news of the acting debut of Harry Styles, of One Direction fame. Creditable as the pop star’s performance may be, he isn’t the main reason for the excitement now surrounding the movie.

That’s all due to Christopher Nolan, who already has a place on the distinguished roll-call of celebrity film-makers, alongside Cecil B DeMille, Hitchcock, Kubrick, Spielberg and James Cameron. Or, for that matter, his friend Quentin Tarantino, who has spoken of Nolan’s “old film-making craft”, arguing that he would be “just as potent a film-maker as he is if he was making movies in 1975. Or, if he was making movies in 1965. I’d like to see Chris Nolan’s version of The Battle of Bulge [sic]. That would be fucking awesome.”

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 11:02 am

Full bloom: summer florals – in pictures

Immerse yourself in bold florals. This summer’s 1970s-inspired vibe
is tinged with bright orange, rich brown and kooky flower prints

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 10:50 am

Ben Affleck says he will be The Batman despite report he would relinquish role

Ben Affleck has dismissed rumors that he will hang up his cape before the next Batman film, for which he recently ceded directing responsibilities.

Related: Ready Player One: first trailer for Steven Spielberg's virtual reality game thriller

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 10:19 am

Revealed: Jeremy Corbyn’s secret backer when chips were down – Tony Blair

Hilary Armstrong, who served as the former prime minister’s chief whip, says Blair stepped in to rescue Corbyn when he was under threat of deselection

Famously, Jeremy Corbyn could not have entered the Labour leadership contest without the nominations of MPs who wanted a leftwinger in the race, although they had no intention of voting for him. But even before that, it has emerged, the veteran backbench rebel had a highly surprising secret benefactor: Tony Blair.

According to the Labour peer Hilary Armstrong, who served as the former prime minister’s chief whip, Blair stepped in to rescue Corbyn from being removed as an MP when some of Corbyn’s Islington North constituents wanted to deselect him.

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 9:00 am

Bryan Cranston: ‘Interesting actors come from challenging backgrounds’

The Breaking Bad actor, 61, on loading trucks, loading dishwashers and riding motorbikes across the USA

I had a dichotomous childhood. The first eight years felt very normal. I had a mother, a father, a brother and a sister. Then things started to disintegrate. My father left home and my mother started drinking. It fractured and dissolved, and I became an introverted kid, always wondering when the next rug would be pulled from under me.

Figuring out where I was going to stay each day gave me confidence

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Posted on 23 July 2017 | 1:00 am

It’s time to prune those woody herbs | Alys Fowler

Lavender, thyme, rosemary, sage: they all need a trim every now and again

There is a lavender at the bottom of my street that has grown so wild it sprawls through the fence; you can see a line along the flowers where passersby can’t help but caress its fragrant blooms. I’m one of them. I like its dishevelled nature, but I’m not sure it would work in a garden. Its bare legs and gaping belly would make it unsightly.

Woody herbs such as lavender, thyme, rosemary and sage, as well as the less-woody-but-still-woody-enough oregano and winter savory (Satureja montana) do need pruning. Left to their own devices, they become leggy, with the woody parts bearing few or no fresh shoots.

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Posted on 22 July 2017 | 10:00 pm

The 20 photographs of the week

The earthquake on the Greek island of Kos, clashes in Jerusalem, wildfires in California, the Tour de France and protests in Caracas – the news of the week captured by the world’s best photojournalists

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Posted on 22 July 2017 | 8:00 pm

Thomasina Miers’ summer fruit dessert recipes

From nectarine tart to mango sorbet, summer puddings are all about making the most of seasonal fruit

When the sun’s out, I find it hard to shake the feeling of perpetual summer. I’ll be in a state of shock come October, obviously, but for now I’ll happily bask in all the sun’s glory – and all the amazing fruit it brings with it. Tangy cherries collapse in a pan and stain a fool with their crimson juices; apricots bake in a clafoutis and get an emerald sparkle from basil-scented sugar; raspberries and nectarines provide a fine match for a goats’ curd tart with the merest hint of sweetness to bring it to the right side of pudding. Then it’s over to Mexico (of course) with pineapple, coconut, mango and lime featuring in a bright, citrussy sorbet and a tea loaf that is indecently soft and squidgy. Well, we might as well enjoy the sunshine while we can.

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Posted on 22 July 2017 | 8:00 pm

Yotam Ottolenghi’s vegetable barbecue recipes

There’s a lot more to barbecue than meat: all sorts of vegetables, and even fruit, benefit from time over the coals, too

Throughout all the seasons, and for many, many years now, I’ve been marking all sorts of ingredients with chargrilled stripes. Stalks of asparagus and sprouting broccoli, wedges of halloumi and feta, chunks of bread, red tomatoes, orange squash, white cauliflower: the effect of the chargrill is to make things look great – those smart, black lines – and taste great, taking on the smoky flavours of the grill.

When the sun is not calling, I’ll do this indoors, in the kitchen, on a ridged griddle pan, with a high flame on the stove and the extractor turned up to the max (or the window opened very wide). The results are pretty much the same, but nothing quite beats the allure of food that’s cooked and eaten outdoors.

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Posted on 22 July 2017 | 8:00 pm

The expert's guide to the perfect meat barbecue

Everything you need to know about grilling meat, from fuel to two-zone cooking, by Hawksmoor’s executive chef. Plus recipes for pre-meat-fest snacks and sauces to go alongside

Barbecue, at its most basic, is an alchemy of wood, smoke and meat, so the fuel you use can dramatically affect flavour. Your best bet is to use lumpwood charcoal, made from high-quality hardwoods with none of the chemicals that help lesser charcoals burn. You can then add different hardwood chunks, depending on the flavour you are looking for: oak, apple and cherry are personal favourites. (Any garden centre worth its salt will have a range of woods for cooking and smoking in the barbecue section; failing that, there are numerous stockists online.)

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Posted on 22 July 2017 | 8:00 pm

The week in wildlife – in pictures

A pod of pilot whales, nesting storks and a clan of hyenas are among this week’s pick of images from the natural world

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Posted on 22 July 2017 | 1:00 am

‘We lived in an area known as the slums’: life in 1960s Manchester

Bridget Cunniffe recalls growing up in a community photographed by Shirley Baker

I was five when this picture was taken. I’m the girl lying on the ground. The two girls in the light blue dresses are my sisters Kate and Mary, who are twins; my oldest sister Sarah is having her hair combed by her friend Marie. We were generally known as the redheaded Murray sisters. My mum is wearing a flowery dress, and talking to our neighbour, Mrs Bowers. I think it must have been a Sunday, because we’ve all got our nice dresses on. The saucer on the floor would have had ice-cream on it. My mum used to buy a bowl from the van and share it out.

We lived in an area of Manchester known as the slums, but we weren’t really aware of that as children. We were always clean and tidy, and we had plenty to eat. We didn’t feel as though we were missing out. And we had such freedom. There were a lot of half-demolished houses around, and we used to play in them. We’d make swings and hang them off the lamp-posts.

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Posted on 22 July 2017 | 1:00 am

Best photos of the day: leopard's lunch and a Colombian parade

The Guardian’s picture editors bring you a selection of photo highlights from around the world, including sunbathing sea lions and a cocaine bust

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Posted on 22 July 2017 | 12:06 am

Joy of sticks: 10 greatest video game controllers

From Atari’s CX joystick to the Oculus Touch, here are our favourites

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Posted on 21 July 2017 | 11:57 pm

Do you think the morning-after pill is too expensive in the UK?

Boots has been criticised for refusing to reduce the cost of emergency contraception. We want to hear from our readers about this

Boots has been criticised for refusing to lower the cost of the morning-after pill for fear it would “incentivising inappropriate use”.

It comes after a campaign from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), a leading provider of abortion care, prompted Tesco and Superdrug to halve the price of the emergency contraceptive. The chemist Boots, however, did not follow in this move for fears of encouraging over-use.

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Posted on 21 July 2017 | 9:47 pm

Sports quiz of the week: Tour de France, the Open and Roger Federer

Who is ‘mad’? Who hit an historic hat-trick? And who wants $20,000?

• Football quiz: the Premier League’s French connection

Mark O'Meara had the honour of hitting the first shot at The Open this year. How did that work out for him?

He hit a hole in one

He hit a quadruple-bogey eight

He pulled a muscle during a practice swing and had to pull out

He lost his ball in the rough

Chris Froome is well placed to win his third straight Tour de France on Sunday. Who was the last cyclist to win three in a row? (Lance Armstrong doesn't count.)

Miguel Indurain

Eddy Merckx

Greg LeMond

Alberto Contador

Complete this quote from USA footballer Jozy Altidore: "My girl is mad at me. She’s mad at me and she’s mad at Romero. She’s like ..."

"Why are USA not world champions already?"

"Why don't you score no more? You're a poor man's Clint Dempsey"

"Only I can bite you, only I can grab your nipples"

"Why were you so rubbish at Sunderland?"

Roger Federer has now played 102 singles matches at Wimbledon – the same number as which other tennis player?

Pete Sampras

Boris Becker

Jimmy Connors

Rafa Nadal

Who won their 23rd grand slam title at Wimbledon on Sunday?

Roger Federer

Martina Hingis

Venus Williams

Ekaterina Makarova

Jodie Taylor's three goals against Scotland at Euro 2017 made her the third England player to score a hat-trick for England in a major tournament. Geoff Hurst was the first. Who was the second?

Michael Owen

Bobby Charlton

Gary Lineker

Theo Walcott

How did Milan's new signing Lucas Biglia respond when asked if he had a message for the club's fans?

"They are paying me so, so much"

"I'm not worth £15m"

"Forza Lazio"

"Go Inter"

Who demanded $20,000 from Dallas wide receiver Lucky Whitehead this week?

His ex-wife, who says she "has to the pay the household staff"

His former team-mates, who claim he lost it in a game of cards

A rapper who returned his kidnapped dog

His parents, who say they "earned it by bringing him up"

Kyle Walker became the most expensive English footballer in history when Manchester City paid Tottenham £50m for his services, taking that dubious honour from which player?

John Stones

Raheem Sterling

Andy Carroll

Rio Ferdinand

Which Women's World Cup final will take place in Surrey on Sunday?

Cricket

Lacrosse

Hockey

Basketball

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Posted on 21 July 2017 | 9:21 pm

Allez allez! Le Tour de France - a photo essay

Guardian photographer Alicia Canter donned a polka dot jersey and headed to Le Puy-en-Velay to watch the cycling’s most famous race storm into the mountains

On Sunday the Tour’s 15th stage ran from Laissac-Sévérac l’Église to Le Puy-en-Velay, the Haute-Loire town famous for its lentils and lace-making. Based in Puy, Alicia was able to photograph the final category 1 climb of Col de Peyra Taillade while soaking up the atmosphere of the town.

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Posted on 21 July 2017 | 7:45 pm

Politics Live - readers' edition - Friday 21 July

Discuss today’s politics and share links to breaking news, and to the most interesting stories and blogs on the web

I’m not writing my usual blog today but here, as an alternative, is the Politics Live readers’ edition. It is a place for you to discuss today’s politics, and to share links to breaking news and to the most interesting stories and blogs on the web.

Feel free to express your views robustly, but please treat others with respect and don’t resort to abuse. Guardian comment pages are supposed to be a haven from the Twitter/social media rant-orama, not an extension of it.

Related: Cabinet accepts Brexit transition will mean years of free movement

Related: Tories use 'take out the trash' day to dump controversial reports

Related: Vince Cable named Lib Dem leader as no other candidate emerges

Related: Contaminated blood inquiry runs into trouble as victims boycott consultation

Related: Severn crossings tolls to be scrapped next year

Nine council by-elections tonight, previewed by @andrewteale:https://t.co/nI1sQWURKi pic.twitter.com/TKpwiIrBnG

Labour HOLD Billingham North (Stockton-on-Tees).

Billingham North (Stockton):

LAB 40.5% (+5.3)
CON 38.7% (+19.0)
IND 11.0% (+11.0)
LD 5.3% (+5.3)
NEP 4.5% (+4.5)

No UKIP/Oth as prev

Conservative HOLD Chiddingly & East Hoathly (Wealden).

Ketton (Rutland) result:

CON: 68.8% (+12.7)
LDEM: 31.2% (+4.2)

Conservative HOLD.
No UKIP as prev.

Whissendine (Rutland) result:

IND (I. Arnold): 54.1% (+54.1)
CON: 26.0% (-0.8)
IND: 11.7% (+11.7)
LDEM: 8.2% (-56.9)

Ind GAIN from LDem.

Labour GAIN Leek East (Staffordshire Moorlands) from Conservative.

Leek East (Staffordshire Moorlands) result:

LAB: 45.0% (+25.6)
CON: 28.9% (+1.1)
IND: 19.5% (+19.5)
LDEM: 6.6% (+0.7)

No UKIP/Oth as prev.

Labour GAIN Alston Moor (Eden) from Liberal Democrat.

Alston Moor (Eden) result:

LAB: 55.8% (+55.8)
CON: 34.7% (-10.7)
IND: 7.8% (+7.8)
GRN: 1.8% (+1.8)

Lab GAIN from LDem.
No LDem candidate.

New Romney (Shepway) result:

CON: 35.2% (+6.2)
LAB: 32.5% (+21.5)
IND: 27.5% (+27.5)
LDEM: 4.8% (-3.7)

Con HOLD.
No UKIP and Grn as prev.

St Helier (Merton) result:

LAB: 74.1% (+3.1)
CON: 15.6% (+1.7)
LDEM: 4.8% (+1.9)
GRN: 3.0% (+0.3)
UKIP: 2.5% (-7.0)

[Corrected % chgs]

Tonight's council by-election results:

Lab: 4 (+2)
Con: 3 (-1)
Ind: 1 (+1)
LDem: 0 (-2)

Awaiting St Michaels (Knowsley): Lab defence. pic.twitter.com/wuaE0l6hEp

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Posted on 21 July 2017 | 6:42 pm

Readers recommend: share your songs about repression

Make your nomination in the comments and a reader will pick the best eligible tracks for a playlist next week – you have until Monday 24 July

We’re looking for songs where repressed emotions are expressed in tune this week. For more on how readers and our playlist picker are interpreting the theme, keep an eye on the comments.

You have until 11pm on Monday 24 July to post your nomination and make your justification.

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Posted on 21 July 2017 | 7:00 am

BBC pay disclosure raises broader questions on inequality | Letters

Readers respond to this week’s revelations about salaries paid to the broadcaster’s staff and the gap between the amounts paid to men and women

Among the furore arising from the publication of top BBC salaries, it has been suggested that, as a result of the gender pay gap reporting regulations, all companies and organisations employing more than 250 people will face similar issues from April 2018 (Ending the silence, G2, 20 July).

Regrettably, nothing could be further from the truth. Not only do the regulations not require the publication of the salary of named persons, they don’t require the publication of the salary of a single human being. Nor will they require disclosure of pay by job, nor by grade, nor pay band.

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Posted on 21 July 2017 | 5:56 am

'Vince Cable is a building block': Lib Dems on the party's future

From optimism to fears the party is at a crossroads, we hear from Liberal Democrat readers as Vince Cable becomes leader

Vince Cable is officially the new leader of the Liberal Democrats. He stood unopposed in the leadership election, with no other candidates putting their name forward before nominations closed at 4pm on Thursday.

Related: Vince Cable named Lib Dem leader as no other candidate emerges

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Posted on 21 July 2017 | 3:50 am

Tell us how the Brexit negotiations affect you

If you’re a British citizen in an EU country or an EU citizen in Britain, we want to know what impact the Brexit process is having on your life

Divisions between the EU and UK positions on Brexit have emerged as three and a half days of intense talks in Brussels come to an end.

Related: Britons living in Europe could lose right to live in another EU country

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Posted on 21 July 2017 | 1:30 am

From rent rises to luxury flats: share your experiences of student housing

Amid news of rent protests and students suing a university over mouldy flats, we want to hear from our readers about the reality of renting

Student housing has received a lot of media attention lately. There have been protests against rent rises, reports on the rise of luxury student housing and more recently news that students are preparing to take legal action against a top university for offering them mouldy and mice-infested flats.

But what is the reality of modern student renter? We want to hear from our readers about the changes to the marketplace. Are you worried about rent rises? Are students being forced to live in poor-quality accommodation? How has it affected your time as a student? Have you rented one of the new luxury student housing offerings? What do you think? Share your stories with us.

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Posted on 20 July 2017 | 11:02 pm

Voters on Trump and Russia: 'If he had to cheat to get in, I'm OK with that' — video

Trump supporters in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, cast much of the blame for his stumbles on the media, and remain steadfast in their belief that a Clinton administration would have been worse

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Posted on 20 July 2017 | 6:00 pm

Vatican versus: how cricket united Catholics, Anglicans and Muslims

It began with a conversation between Pope Francis and archbishop Justin Welby. Now, three years on, the Unity Through Cricket tournament is flourishing – and seeking to bring in Jewish, Sikh and Hindu players too

In September 2016, three unique cricket teams played a tournament unlike any other. The hosting side were the Archbishop of Canterbury’s XI, a team made up of Anglican vicars. One visiting team, Mount, was composed mostly of Muslim players from Yorkshire. The other, the St Peter’s XI, had come to Birmingham from the Vatican.

The competition – played under the name Unity Through Cricket – had been four years in the making, and the idea for it began at the very top.

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Posted on 20 July 2017 | 3:03 am

Have you heard of tape-ball cricket? – video

Tape-ball cricket possibly solves all of the legacy issues with cricket, it’s quick, safe and cheap. It was born in Karachi but is migrating around the world and is producing a generation of international cricketers. Here’s everything you need to know about the fast-growing street sport

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Posted on 19 July 2017 | 9:15 pm

What is your favourite Guardian article of 2017 so far?

We want to hear what you would like Gary Younge to include in this year’s Bedside Guardian, an end-of-year compendium of the best we’ve published

Every year, around Christmas time, the Guardian publishes a book of its best articles of the year – the Bedside Guardian.

It’s a mix of domestic, foreign, light, serious, news-oriented and feature pieces that spans from October 2016 to October 2017. This year I’m editing it and the selection process wouldn’t be complete without finding out what you, the readers, think are the best pieces of the year and why.

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Posted on 19 July 2017 | 12:00 am

Christopher Nolan on Dunkirk: 'There are 400,000 men on this beach – how do you get them home?'

Dunkirk sees director Christopher Nolan tackle one of the most remarkable stories of the second world war: the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of Allied soldiers from the beaches of northern France. In an extended video interview Nolan discusses the challenges of bringing such a mammoth operation to the big screen, the hard choices made by those involved in the evacuation and the ‘subtle and truthful’ acting performance of Harry Styles

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Posted on 18 July 2017 | 11:08 pm

How to adapt Jane Austen for the screen, with Andrew Davies

To mark 200 years since Jane Austen’s death, prolific screenwriter and Bafta fellow Andrew Davies discusses his five steps for adapting Austen’s novels for the screen. Davies who is known for his award-winning 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice illustrates each point with clips and references from each of his Austen TV classics

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Posted on 18 July 2017 | 10:30 pm

Cool and quirky Airbnb homes for family holidays in the UK – in pictures

Fancy a rustic yurt in the Welsh countryside? How about a gothic church with its own banqueting hall and hot tub in Somerset, or a glamping pod near Brighton? These unique Airbnb homes are ideal for fun UK breaks for all the family

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Posted on 18 July 2017 | 4:15 am

Not the Booker prize 2017 needs your nominations now

The literary award decided by readers is back for another year of compelling contention. Please use your vote in the comments below

The Not the Booker prize is back and it’s nine years old – old enough now that I really should stop expressing surprise at its continuing development. If it were a child, it would be safely past the stage of sighing heavily when I remark how much it’s grown. It would simply roll its eyes and walk off. And we don’t want that, because the award remains a source of fascination, intrigue and – best of all – unexpected and wonderful novels.

This year’s search starts right here. You can nominate any book eligible for for this year’s Man Booker prize – that is to say basically any novel originally written in English, by a writer of any nationality, published in the UK between 1 October 2016 and 30 September 2017. (As with the Man Booker, US authors are now allowed). All you have to do is post a comment naming the book and author (and publisher too, if you want to be really helpful) below the line.

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Posted on 18 July 2017 | 2:28 am

Life and death in Texas: abortion frontline of America – video

New Texan anti-abortion laws are putting women’s lives at risk, according to pro-choice campaigners. But pro-life activists claim they are protecting women from an out-of-control abortion industry. Leah Green visits the state as the battle over women’s bodies intensifies

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Posted on 17 July 2017 | 6:00 pm

Vast iceberg splits from Antarctic ice shelf – video explainer

A giant section of the Larsen C ice shelf in the Antarctic peninsula has broken off, unleashing a 5,000 sq km iceberg – about a quarter of the size of Wales

One of largest icebergs ever recorded breaks off Antarctic ice shelf

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Posted on 12 July 2017 | 9:50 pm

The film-maker bringing art to life – using only a smartphone

Akinola Davies often uses a mobile to capture moments of inspiration, but will he be able to shoot an entire short using only a smartphone? On his latest project, he took the OnePlus 5 on location to capture an artist at work. Will it be up to the cinematic task?

People will probably be surprised how much I use a phone for my work as a film-maker. There’s something so responsive about taking photos or filming on a phone, something so immediate, and often when I see something that inspires me, my phone is what I reach for. It is also much lighter and nimbler than carrying around a clunky SLR.

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Posted on 11 July 2017 | 12:04 am

The best summer of my life? Reuniting with my family in Thailand

For chef and street food impresario Sai Deethwa, travelling to the Thai village where she was born meant an emotional reunion with her family – and an unforgettable summer

Three years ago, I had the holiday I’d waited my whole life for – I returned to the tiny village of Ban Si Tawan where I was born, in Sikhoraphum, north-east Thailand. I was raised here, near the Cambodian border, until I was just over one. When mum had me, she was a single mother, and had to work to support me, so she had help from my maire yai (in Thai culture, this is the name given to your mother’s oldest female sibling). Other relatives helped raise me too – everyone pulled together until we moved to England with my stepdad in 1987.

I hadn’t returned since. My mum and stepdad couldn’t afford to take me and my three younger sisters back together. So going “home” – it feels like home even after 27 years in the UK – was a very big deal. I made the trip with my husband James, who helps me run Buddha Belly, my Thai street food stall. All of my family have been in the street food industry, so I was excited about seeing how it worked in Thailand – and we certainly got loads of great ideas to take home.

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Posted on 30 June 2017 | 9:41 pm